Rotorua architect Aladina Harunani of APA Architects is the driving force behind the creation of a new 3D modelling tool he says could help developers and town planners visualise the impact of new projects.
"We developed this tool out of need to help the city we live in."
The team of architects and animators brought together by Mr Harunani spent three months developing the tool, which has rendered a 3D model of central Rotorua that can be used to envisage the impact of changes and new developments.
"We have been privileged to have developed a 3D tool that can visualise a whole city central business district.
"It provides an immense opportunity for developers, builders, local government, traffic engineers and architects."
Mr Harunani said he understood the tool was the first of its type to have been developed for a New Zealand city.
"It's not just a one-off, but a tool to help developers and city dwellers.
"The fact the prototype is of Rotorua is linked to Rotorua's inner city revitalisation, which has recently received national recognition."
Mr Harunani said he had so far secured two clients for the tool, but had developed the prototype around Rotorua because he believed it could be useful for people involved with inner city revitalisation.
Rotorua Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson said he had seen a demonstration of the 3D software. He believed it could potentially be a useful for anyone who had a concept for a development, to dial it into the tool and see how it related to the surrounding environment.
One opportunity could be for people holding workshops who wanted to model and demonstrate ideas on screen to get concepts across.
Mr Donaldson said the tool might be more useful than trying to grasp how a project would look in the context of existing buildings by viewing planning drawings and elevations on paper.